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so too will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. (1:11b)
Just as the flower arises and is destroyed so also, the rich man will fade away (μαραίνω marainō), to disappear gradually, in the midst of his pursuits (πορεία poreia), that is, his way of life. James is trying to get across that just as the flower is here one day and gone the next, so riches are so uncertain because we may have it one day, and then it is gone the next. Once an individual takes his last breath, all that he worked so hard to gain here in riches will be lost and done away with. Solomon wrote, “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.” (Eccl. 6:15) Solomon also wrote, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” – Proverbs 11:4.
James stresses that a man does not have to wait until the time of his death for his riches to fade away, but they do so even during his pursuit of them. The trials that come to the rich can serve as an excellent reminder of how uncertain one’s riches really are, and they cannot save him. The trials of the man with riches remind him that life does not depend on the abundance of his possessions.
Similarly, the rich man will fade away during his way of life. Just as it was true of the flowers, whose destruction was predictable, fatal, and complete. The Greek pursuits (πορεία poreia) root simply refers to a way of life. Thus, James means that during the “comings” or “goings” of the rich man’s way of life, it will inevitably end in the destruction of him or his wealth or both. This will be the case regardless of what is taking place at the moment of culmination. In other words, all that this rich man has accumulated, it shall be no more. It is not something that will happen in a moment, but rather, his wealth will disappear gradually. The rich man’s plans, his purpose, the wealth that gives his life meaning in his eyes, will vanish. Remember, this rich man is a Christian who has clearly stumbled spiritually and lost his way. The idea of James here seems to be, it is a sure thing that the rich man, who is a Christian in a spiritual spiral, who now has a love of money, will fade away from existence. Over time, the showy display and splendor, which he spent much time accumulating, will perish. He needs to be reminded of this often, and if he loses his wealth, he needs to see that God has allowed this trial. So, he needs to rejoice in the change of circumstances that is an opportunity that has presented itself to him, enabling him to reboot his relationship with God.
Let us not be unrealistic. Many people commonly say, “money cannot buy happiness.” While this is somewhat true, Satan’s world functions from one’s ability to afford the necessities of life. Without money, one cannot pay for a home, transportation, medical services, medication, food, clothing, utilities, material that the children need, and so on. Yes, money can but a measure of happiness but not eternal happiness.
 A phrase, not exactly similar to ‘money can’t buy happiness’ but meaning exactly the same, was first coined by a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 1750 he wrote – ‘Money buys everything, except morality and citizens.’ In the United States, the phrase first appeared in the “William and Mary College quarterly history magazine.” Since then, it has been used in several forms like money can’t buy love; money can’t buy education; money can’t buy friends, etc. – Retrieved Monday, September 20, 2021